Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2023 May;30(24):65544-65557. doi: 10.1007/s11356-023-26833-5. Epub 2023 Apr 22.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may impact sleep during the menopausal transition by altering sex hormones. However, these studies are scarce among Latin American women. This investigation utilized cross-sectional and retrospective data from midlife women enrolled in the Early Life Exposure in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) study to examine associations between exposure to EDCs (phthalates, phenols, and parabens) and sleep health measures. For cross-sectional analyses, single spot urine samples were collected between 2017-2019 from a pilot sample of women (N = 91) of midlife age to estimate the urinary concentration of individual phthalates, phenols, and parabens and to calculate the summary concentration of phthalate mixtures. Seven-day nightly sleep duration, midpoint, and fragmentation were obtained from wrist-actigraphy devices and estimated from the actigraphy data using a pruned dynamic programming algorithm. Self-reported poor sleep quality was assessed by one item from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). We examined associations between urinary summary phthalate mixtures, phthalate metabolites, phenol, and paraben analytes with each sleep measure using linear or logistic (to compute odds of poor sleep quality only) regression models adjusted for specific gravity, age, and socioeconomic status. We ran similar regression models for retrospective analyses (N = 74), except that urine exposure biomarker data were collected in 2008 when women were 24-50 years old. At the 2017-2019 midlife visit, 38% reported poor sleep quality. Cross-sectionally, EDCs were associated with longer sleep duration, earlier sleep timing, and more fragmented sleep. For example, every 1-unit IQR increase in the phenol triclosan was associated with a 26.3 min per night (95% CI: 10.5, 42.2; P < 0.05) longer sleep duration and marginally associated with 0.2 decimal hours (95% CI: -0.4, 0.0; P < 0.10) earlier sleep midpoint; while every 1-unit IQR increase in the phthalate metabolite MEHP was associated with 1.1% higher sleep fragmentation (95% CI: 0.1, 2.1; P < 0.05). Retrospective study results generally mirrored cross-sectional results such that EDCs were linked to longer sleep duration, earlier sleep timing, and more fragmented sleep. EDCs were not significantly associated with odds of self-reported poor sleep quality. Results from cross-sectional and retrospective analyses revealed that higher exposure to EDCs was predictive of longer sleep duration, earlier sleep timing, and more fragmented sleep among midlife women.